AESCHYLUS (525-456 B.C.). Tragoediae, in Greek. Glasgow: Andrew Foulis for the Academy, 1795. Greek and roman types cut by Alexander Wilson. With half-title. [Interleaved with:]
FLAXMAN, John (1775-1826). Compositions from the Tragedies of Aeschylus, designed by John Flaxman, engraved by Thomas Piroli. London [i.e., Rome]: for the artist by J. Matthews, 12 January 1795. Engraved title and 30 numbered engraved plates on papier vélin, most watermarked Whatman 1794.
2 works in one volume, 2° (480 x 300mm). (Occasional very light spotting to text, some offsetting from plates, the plates bound out of order.) CONTEMPORARY FULL RED MOROCCO GILT IN NEOCLASSICAL STYLE BY L. STAGGEMEIER AND WELCHER, with binders' ticket, wide border of paired drawer-tools surrounding a fleuron, enhanced with pointillé tooling, elaborate corner-pieces made up of small floral and foliate tools, gilt panelled spine, gilt turn-ins and marbled endpapers, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed, some scuff marks and small chips to covers). Provenance: Nicholas Vansittart (armorial bookplate) -- Huth Library (oval morocco bookplate; sold in his sale, Sotheby's, 15 November 1911, lot 46).
FIRST EDITION OF FLAXMAN'S COMPOSITIONS, accompanying the Foulis Aeschylus printed at the same date. The designs were commissioned from Flaxman in 1792-93, during his seven-year residence in Italy, by the Countess Dowager Spencer, cousin of Mrs. Hare-Naylor for whom he had designed his influential series of compositions based on Homer (1793). Two editions of different sets of plates were produced in the same year. One set was engraved and printed by Piroli in Rome, the other enrgaved by Piroli but brought to England and printed by Flaxman's aunt, Jane Matthews. The Matthews set was later acquired by Longman who continued printing from the same plates, 1803-1828. 'Flaxman's choice of great classics for the subjects of his illustrations and his spare but elegant style -- chiefly inspired, it would seem, by Greek vase painting--made an irresistible appeal to the taste of the age' (Ray). Blackmer 604; Brunet I, p. 79; Ray England, p. 21.